The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday morning saw the death toll rise to 13 people, including the gunman himself, authorities reported. Earlier reports indicating that there may have been two other potential gunman at the incident was later altered to the possibility that there may have been only one other gunman, Yahoo News reported Sept. 16. But that, too, would later be altered in turn.
As more information was released (following several press conferences throughout the day), details concerning the gunman and his victims were constantly updated. What once was a death toll of only three people, according to early reports, rose to six by early afternoon. But officials would eventually announce later that at least 13 people had been killed in the Navy Yard shootings. The number of wounded also climbed and was last stated to be a dozen.
The man believed to be the primary gunman at the incident was one of those killed during the massive law enforcement response to shots being fired at the Washington Navy Yard, the oldest land base of the U. S. Navy in the United States. Authorities identified the shooter as a 34-year-old Texas contractor by the name of Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist. The Inquistr noted that there was at first some confusion as to the identity of the shooting suspect due to early reports that he had been identified by a badge found on the body. Although those statements were retracted by the respective networks, the gunman, who was shot in an exchange of gunfire with Metro Police officers, was later positively identified as Alexis.
According to NBC News, officials maintain that Aaron Alexis was the "single and sole" gunman responsible for the days tragic events. The news came after initial reports that the shooter may have been associated with two other gunmen reported by eyewitnesses in the Navy Yard. Those reports were later revised to reflect that law enforcement had ruled out one of the shooters, but the search for a second shooter continued. By evening, though, the second shooter was also ruled out as a viable existing threat.
Assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, Valerie Parlave, said there was no apparent motive on Alexis' part. She also said he had "legitimate" access to the complex as a subcontractor for Hewlett Packard. According to HP's director of corporate media relations, Michael Thacker, Alexis was part of a Hewlett Packard Enterprises group called "The Experts" and had an access card that would have gotten him into not only the Washington Navy Yard but other military installations as well.
Authorities say that Aaron Alexis was believed to have arrived at the Washington Navy Yard with only a shotgun, a weapon he had purchased just the week before. However, after the shooting began, he apparently picked up other weapons as he seemed to need them, because after the shootout with police, he was found with not only the shotgun, but an assault-style rifle and a handgun.
Alexis opened fire on workers at the main headquarters building of the Naval Sea Systems Command, a facility that is the workplace of about 3,000 people. Witnesses say he was dressed all in blue and said nothing before he started shooting.
The Associated Press reported that Navy Yard shooting was the deadliest mass shooting at a U.S.-based military installation since Maj. Nidal Hasan's 2009 rampage that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at Fort Hood in Texas. He was convicted in August and subsequently sentenced to death.